Arizona State football had the luxury of having Terrell Suggs on the field once again at Sun Devil Stadium, but not in the same way as in the past.
The former linebacker and defensive end was honored with eight other members of the Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Fame and Hall of Distinction classes during halftime of Saturday’s football game against Washington.
Suggs only spent three seasons with the Sun Devils, preceding his fourth year to enter the NFL Draft. He played 17 pro seasons, most with the Baltimore Ravens, and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. He retired No. 1 on the all-time tackles for loss list, and No. 8 in career sacks.
His junior season at ASU is also etched into the record books, and it all happened because of one team workout.
“Our strength coach, he pretty much called me out in front of the whole team and he was like, we need our best players to be involved in our program and commit to the program fully. He was talking about me in front of the whole program. I had to dedicate my whole summer and spring to working out and training and it ended up paying off for me. I had an amazing season that year,” Suggs said.
In 2002, Suggs finished his third and final season with 24 sacks, setting ASU, Pac-10 and NCAA records. His sack record has not been touched since.
His efforts made him a unanimous first-team All-American and he won almost every national defensive award. Suggs left a mark on the program in his short time, but even with all the accolades he collected, he was surprised when he received the call that he would be inducted into the hall of fame.
Legendary class:‘One thousand times more special’: Turner Thorne, January shares ASU Hall of Fame honor
“For them to induct me, it’s like, I played so long ago. I didn’t think anybody remembered,” Suggs said. “But it’s good to still be appreciated for the work that you did. It’s a lot going into it. I had awesome teammates and an awesome coaching staff. I’m still taking it all in. I’m very humbled and flattered.”
Returning to the launching pad of his career and spending time around the community throughout the weekend reminded Suggs of the support the team received in his playing days.
When it comes to the current state of the program, Suggs believes the fans will help the team through the tougher times on the field.
“Through the highs and lows, they’re still going to support the team. That’s what we need and that’s how you get back to those glory days. The loyal support of the fans and the people,” Suggs said.
Moore:Anthony Robles, who was born with only one leg, reaches the ASU Hall of Fame
Suggs has liked interim head coach Shaun Aguano’s commitment to recruiting more athletes from Arizona. Although originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Suggs graduated from Chandler Hamilton High School in 2000.
“It all starts with an Arizona recruit. If you want to build a program, you got to win the home base and the home kids and the hometown kids have to stay home. That’s definitely the way to start. Coach (Aguano) is definitely headed in the right direction that way,” Sugg said.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennaortiz.
Subscribe to azcentral.com today.